Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 23, 2013: U.S. public-education spending per student fell in 2011 for the first time in more than three decades

Daily postings from the Keystone State Education Coalition now reach more than 1900 Pennsylvania education policymakers – school directors, administrators, legislators, legislative and congressional staffers, PTO/PTA officers, parent advocates, teacher leaders, education professors, members of the press and a broad array of P-16 regulatory agencies, professional associations and education advocacy organizations via emails, website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Keystone State Education Coalition:
Pennsylvania Education Policy Roundup for May 23, 2013:
U.S. public-education spending per student fell in 2011 for the first time in more than three decades

“Additionally, school districts are required to pay cyber charter schools for pension costs according to the formula. However, the state also reimburses the cyber charter schools for up to 50 percent of their pension costs allowing those institutions to “double-dip” and receive payment for the same costs twice.”
North Hills School Board Calls for Cyber Charter Funding Reform
North Superintendent Dr. Patrick Mannarino says “Pennsylvania’s flawed and overly generous funding formula has become too large of a burden for North Hills School District and our taxpayers."  The North Hills School Board recently approved a resolution calling for cyber charter school funding reform to rectify tuition inequities. Pennsylvania’s current funding formula is not based on actual instructional costs, and tuition paid to cyber charter schools far exceeds the cost of educating a student.   …..Since 2008, North Hills has paid $4,106,903 to cyber charter schools and only $471,639 or 11 percent of those funds have been reimbursed by the state. North Hills School District spends $10,436 per student in a general education program at a cyber charter school. The cost for a special education student is nearly twice that amount at $19,952.

Chuck Ballard: Pa. must end 'double dip' reimbursement of charter school pension costs
Allentown Morning Call Opinion by Chuck Ballard March 11, 2013
Chuck Ballard is president of the East Penn School Board; his commentary does not necessarily reflect the position of the board or school district.
As our school districts prepare their budgets for next school year, we must account for cyber charter school tuition payments for students who do not attend district schools that divert significant resources from our budgets. When it comes to cyber charter school tuition, our school districts and taxpayers are overpaying these schools, and we must address this issue now.
Then-Auditor General Jack Wagner said in 2012 that Pennsylvania could save $365 million a year in taxpayer money by adopting separate charter and cyber charter school funding formulas, and by closing an administrative loophole that permits double-dipping in pension payments through the calculation of tuition rates.

Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School FAST FACTS
Quakertown Community School District March 2013

PA Charter Schools: $4 billion taxpayer dollars with no real oversight Keystone State Education Coalition (updated May 2, 2013)
Charter schools - public funding without public scrutiny; Proposed statewide authorization and direct payment would further diminish accountability and oversight for public tax dollars

“Think about it -- in 2010, three hedge-fund billionaires from Bala Cynwyd whose sole issue is corporate education reform spent more than $6 million of their own money in a late and doomed effort to elect a "school choice" fanatic from Philadelphia, state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams. Now, Williams is eyeing the mayor's race, where with time and money he'd have a much better chance of winning -- and where there's little doubt that the Hedge Fund 3 have millions more to essentially buy the mayor's office for their single issue. And if Williams doesn't run, there's no doubt the charter school billionaires will find someone else.”
UPDATED: Mayor Dread
Daily News Attytood Blog by Will Bunch May 22, 2013, 3:34 PM
There's a Philadelphia mayor that I like less than Mayor Nutter. Come back tonight and I'll tell you who it is.  Well, those bad chief executives of yesteryear can't hurt us now (I don't think) but the mayor who scares me the most right now is the NEXT one who will be elected in 2015. I'd been thinking about this even before Philadelphia magazine came up with this cute ploy for bloggers like me to write about them (hey, it worked).

Teaching positions, electives lost in Plum School District’s 2013-14 budget
By Tribune-Review Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 10:45 p.m.
The Plum School Board on Wednesday night voted to advertise a 2013-14 preliminary budget that eliminates 24 teaching positions and a variety of electives, including television production and food and consumer science at the high school.
Bangor Area School District's final budget would hike taxes 1.5 percent
By Sara K. Satullo | The Express-Times on May 22, 2013 at 7:50 PM
The Bangor Area School Board signed off on a $50.2 million proposed final budget that would hike taxes by 1.5 percent.  It would mean a tax hike of about $42 for the average homeowner with a home with an assessed value of $56,000. The final budget vote must occur before June 30.
The proposed final 2013-14 budget doesn't furlough any employees but the district plans to cut jobs through attrition and avoid new hires as much as possible. The budget taps the district's savings account to put $258,200, which the board previously designated, towards pension costs.

Antietam District OKs merger talks with Exeter
Reading Eagle Press by Karen Feick Published: 5/22/2013
The Antietam School Board has voted 8-1 to approve discussions with Exeter School District to merge the districts.  Up to 42 new classes and 31 new clubs and activities would be available to all students, and maximum use of existing facilities would be benefits of the merger according to the district's report on its website, "Merger Summary Draft."

Protests Fail to Deter Chicago From Shutting 49 Schools
New York Times By STEVEN YACCINO Published: May 22, 2013
CHICAGO — Officials here in the third-largest district in the country voted Wednesday, after an emotional meeting, to close 49 public schools that they said were not being fully used.  The decision, passed overwhelmingly by the Chicago Board of Education, came after weeks of contentious public hearings that brought more than 34,000 people out to oppose the school consolidation plan at dozens of meetings across the city.

“Overall, the nation’s pre-kindergarten-through-12th grade schools spent $595.1 billion on about 48 million students in 2011, with $522.1 billion going toward daily operating expenses, the data show. That was a decline of 1.1% from 2010, the second year in a row that total spending dropped.”
Public Spending Per Student Drops
Wall Street Journal By Stephanie Banchero May 21, 2013, 4:39 PM
U.S. public-education spending per student fell in 2011 for the first time in more than three decades, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data issued Tuesday.
Spending for elementary and high schools across the 50 states and Washington, D.C. averaged $10,560 per pupil in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2011. That was down 0.4% from 2010, the first drop since the bureau began collecting the data on an annual basis in 1977, the agency said Tuesday. However, when you adjust the figures for inflation, this isn’t the first drop on record. By that measure, spending per pupil dropped once in 1995 and hit its highest level in 2009. In inflation-adjusted terms, spending per pupil was down 4% in 2011 from the peak.

Public Education Finances: 2011 Published May 2013
United States Census Bureau

EPLC Education Policy Fellowship Program – Apply Now
Applications are available now for the 2013-2014 Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). The Education Policy Fellowship Program is sponsored in Pennsylvania by The Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC).
With more than 350 graduates in its first fourteen years, this Program is a premier professional development opportunity for educators, state and local policymakers, advocates, and community leaders.  State Board of Accountancy (SBA) credits are available to certified public accountants.
Past participants include state policymakers, district superintendents and principals, school business officers, school board members, education deans/chairs, statewide association leaders, parent leaders, education advocates, and other education and community leaders.  Fellows are typically sponsored by their employer or another organization.
The Fellowship Program begins with a two-day retreat on September 12-13, 2013 and continues to graduation in June 2014.

Search underway for PSBA Executive Director
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) is a nonprofit statewide association of public school boards, pledged to the highest ideals of local lay leadership for the public schools of the commonwealth.  Founded in 1895, PSBA has a rich history as the first school boards' association established in the United States. Pennsylvania's 4,500 school directors become members by virtue of election to their local board -- the board joins as a whole. Membership in PSBA is by school district or other eligible local education agency such as intermediate unit, vocational school or community college……..
Search by Diversified Search, 1990 M St NW, Suite 570, Washington, DC. Questions may be directed to Interested parties should email their resume and cover letter to Please apply by June 1, 2013 for best consideration.

Sign Up Today for PILCOP Special Ed CLE Trainings
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia
Spots are filling up for the final two trainings in our 2012-2013 Know Your Child’s Rights series with seminars on ADAAA, Pro Se Parents and Settlement Agreements.
May 29, 2013: PRO SE Parents: Doing It on Your Own
May 30, 2013: Settlements: Signing on the Dotted Line (OR NOT)

Turning the Page for Change celebration, June 11, 2013
Please join us for the Notebook’s annual Turning the Page for Change celebration on June 11, 2013, from 4:30 - 7 p.m. at the University of The Arts, Hamilton Hall, 320 S. Broad Street. We will be honoring a member of the Notebook community for years of service to our mission as well as honoring several local high school journalists. Help us celebrate another year of achievement that included two awards from the Education Writers Association and coverage of other critical stories like the budget crisis and the school closing process.

1 comment:

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